Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” Genesis 32:26
I know the verse, “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16 I learned it as a kid but learning the words and understanding the meaning can be many decades apart. Jacob wrestled with God until he prevailed. Though his hip gave out in the struggle (the hip being the pivotal source of power for a wrestler), he did not quit. The blessing was of such value to him that nothing dampened the desire.
There are situations that can appear hopeless from a human perspective. Natural evidence begs to prove that nothing is ever going to change, even if I engage my faith. So, I don’t fight the fight and things get worse. The pain of watching everything regress nearly shuts me down. I look ten years older than I am as I wear the cloak of faithlessness like an old bathrobe and camp out in the valley of resignment. Living in hopeless oblivion makes perfect sense to me because I want the striving to cease.
Is this where you are today? You’ve been wrestling with God for a long time over one single thing. The more you pray, the more things seem to decline. To continue to keep your heart alive to hope and faith appears futile. You’re fast approaching the line where quitting pretends to be the smart thing to do. Dreaming is painful. God appears to be cruel as He withholds the blessing you seek.
This is what it is to live in the shadows. And I have. But let me testify that God didn’t let me stay there. His Spirit worked on me, infusing a ‘word’ now and then, and I would poke my head out. So much happened that finally caused me to fight for faith. Was it harder than giving up? Definitely. But let me give a testimony here!
I have seen powerful prayers answered after decades. One breakthrough took twenty-nine years, the other took thirty-seven. Both were glorious. Wrestling was worth it. Prevailing brought the blessing. The result is that I will have greater stamina in the next spiritual battle because I know now not to give up.
Over what issue have you taken hold of God in prayer today? How long have you labored? Hang on. Dig your fingers into the fabric of his robe and don’t let go. Today could be the day He speaks a word and prison bars open wide.
I value what I learned about myself in the battle and about You most of all. Treasures of the darkness. That’s what You promised and they sparkle in my spirit. Amen